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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The BeeCam caught an invader last night! In he goes (click for video):



Just before he pokes his nose in, you can see a guard bee at the far right of the entrance, not doing her job.

If it's not raining this weekend I'll go take a look and see if s/he is building a nest.

The hive is not clustered for winter, because Los Angeles bees just don't do that. Take a look during daylight hours:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE0jx2Z6qbc5Co8x8Kyisag/live

The hive is reasonably active. I wonder why they
 

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Discussion Starter #2
It was raining at the time, so I'm not surprised the mouse wanted a warm place to hole up for the night.
 

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Two deck screws for ease of pulling out to clean.
And THAT is the gem of the day that I will certainly put into use!

Brilliant!
 

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An old beekeeper in WI taught me to place a board in the bottom opening for winter, with a few 3/8 inch (9.5mm) holes through it. Bees go in and out pretty easily, but mice can't.

I usually run a top entrance with just enough of a bottom entrance to get air circulation.

My theory is that when you have a enclosure with a top and bottom opening, whichever opening is smaller limits the airflow, the size of the other opening is mostly irrelevant as regards airflow. having a larger top opening makes it somewhat easier to get moisture out of the hive, though not much.

So far this seems to be working. Early in the winter, the bees use the bottom entrance, but by spring they mostly use the top.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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http://www.bushfarms.com/images/EntranceReducerBaffle.jpg

This is a popular device around here. You get three pieces of lath 4" long (3/8" x 1 1/2" x 4") and a piece of 3/8" plywood that is 14 3/4" by 4" (for a ten frame hive). You nail the plywood to the lath and slide this in the entrance (with a reversible bottom board turned so the entrance is 3/4"). The 3/8" space is the entrance and the mice never seem to go through this probably because they have to squeeze through for 4". The plywood makes a baffle that encourages the queen to lay all the way to the front as a slatted rack does and cuts down on drafts by the door. I don't use this because I run top entrances but if I ran bottom entrances I would be tempted.
 
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